Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 31

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God’s unveiling of Jesus includes the progressive unmasking of the man of sin (the first man Adam) by the brightness of His coming in spirit and truth in us (2Th 2:1-8;1Co 15:45). It is through the natural (or ‘the first’) that we can understand and be “seated” in the invisible spiritual things of God (Eph 2:6, Col 2:12, Eph 1:3):

Php 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is through the destruction of darkness of spiritual death that the light of spirit life comes (Rom 1:20, Gen 1:2-4, Col 1:22, Heb 2:14).

Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

God created darkness/death as an opponent or enemy of the spiritual light/life and this darkness/death is reflected in all physical and carnal things, including our physical body and the natural mind (Gen 1:2-31).

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

In essence we all have been born to fight a spiritual war – a war between darkness and light, between evil and good. God has a good purpose because through this war we are learning about Him and His perfect plan for the salvation of all in the generation of the first Adam. The natural man is first given over to be the seed of the serpent as we all share the same carnal mind with him. We have the devil as our spiritual father, and we are enemies of God by nature (Joh 8:44, Rom 5:10, Rev 12:1-7):

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Col 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works…

Any war is associated with anger and hatred. Human anger and hatred express the pride and lusts of the evil heart or mind of the wicked man of sin in us (Pro 16:4, Jer 17:9, 1Jn 2:16). Anger and hatred are foundational in our understanding of the inward spiritual battles within the generation of the first Adam since the beginning. Humanity gives shallow and carnal reasons for all the wars and bloodshed that is going on in all levels of society in human history. The Scriptures however bring us to the heart of the problem. It is first reflected in the interaction between the two sons of Adam and Eve in Genesis, which helps us to understand the inward spiritual war and the works of God within our heavens (Rev 12:7-9, Dan 10:13, Dan 12:1, Eph 6:12, Col 1:16):

Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten [Hebrew: qnah = possession] a man from the LORD.

The name ‘Cain’ in Hebrew is associated with ‘taking possession’, and the name also has the meaning of a ‘spear’ connected to it – a sword-like weapon with which strike someone. Adam and Eve seemingly expected Cain to be the fulfillment of God’s promise that their seed will “bruise” the head of the serpent, as we all naturally think the weapons of our warfare is fleshly (Gen 3:15, 2Co 10:3-4). Naturally we are all impatient beings and unaware that God’s promises have a time period connected to it (Heb 11:7, Act 14:22, Mat 10:22, 2Pe 3:9). In our immature state we want our salvation and healing now, and we question God as to why He is delaying and taking us via the longer route (Psa 27:13-14, Psa 69:3, Rev 6:9-10). God has a perfect plan, and that plan includes our preparation time for the inward war which will strengthen and grow our faith to the praise and glory of Jesus (1Pe 1:6-7).

Exo 13:17 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:
Exo 13:18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.

Naturally we want vengeance on injustices to be swiftly executed. The natural man wants God to act quickly, and that is contrary to how God performs His work in this life (Jer 1:12, 2Pe 3:9). God uses the longer route also to reveal our own natural heart to ourselves:

Deu 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

This is how we get to know that every word which comes from the mouth of God has a purpose for us. It is indeed with patience that we will possess anything worthwhile and be His witnesses for all to see:

Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Cain was not the type of the Lord Jesus with His flaming sword which the Cherubims are using to keep the way to the tree of life (Gen 3:24). Cain was just the type of the carnal sword which man uses in the natural acts of anger and hatred when things are not going as expected (Mat 26:51, Act 12:1-2). So when the second child of Adam and Eve was born, deeper evils of the natural heart are revealed even more in the relationship between these two siblings:

Gen 4:2 (a) And she again bare his brother Abel.

The name ‘Abel’ in Hebrew is connected to ‘vanity’ and his name also carries with it the meaning of ‘breath’. In one sense his name confirms the shortness and emptiness of earthly life (Rom 8:20, Jas 4:14). In another sense Abel was the type of the breath or spirit of God that came in the person of Jesus Christ (Mat 23:35, Heb 12:24, Heb 11:4) There were still many things which Adam and Eve and their first two children had to learn and endure:

Gen 4:2 (b) And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
Gen 4:4 (a) And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.

Cain was a hard worker of the soil, and Abel just had flocks to tend to – a seemingly much easier job than that of the labour of Cain. At the harvest time or at the end of time, as some translations have it, they both brought an offering to the Lord. God showed favor to Abel’s offering and this brought the anger and hatred in Cain’s heart to the fore. We fume with hatred when we come to realize our own outward efforts cannot replace the inward blood offering of Christ – dying to self (1Jn 1:7, Rev 7:14, Rev 12:11, 1Co 15:31).

Gen 4:4 (b) … And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
Gen 4:5 (a) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth [Hebrew: charah = very angry], and his countenance fell.

By faith Abel sacrificed the more excellent offering than Cain (Heb 11:4,6). According to God’s instructions an animal or a blood offering is required to make atonement or covering for sin. God showed Adam and Eve what was required to have proper covering – the death of a beast:

Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Heb 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Cain did not take heed of God’s instructions, nor did he learn from the mistakes of His parents. They used their own righteous ideas, and the carnal consensus from their natural minds, to cover their shame. Our own toiling in the soil of our cursed ground will always produce a covering of “filthy rags” which is hopelessly insufficient:

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

The meal offering (of the ground) was to be “upon the altar, beside the burnt sacrifice” as explained in the old covenant laws of offerings (Lev 9:17, Lev 14:31). The shedding of the “blood” (or life) of our old man is not what the natural first born wants to hear or see. It is foolish and unnecessary to take up our cross as that is not good preaching to those who prefer smooth deceit (Isa 30:10).

1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The taking up of our own cross fills up what is behind of the affliction of Christ, as we die with Him and are not persuaded by the false doctrine of substitutionary atonement (Dan 9:27, Gal 2:20, Col 1:24). Jesus’ death on the cross opened up His resurrection spirit life and that (“aeonian” life) helps those who are given the downpayment of that “holy spirit of promise” to die to their own sinful fleshliness in this age (Eph 1:13-14, Gal 5:22-23, 2Co 4:7). That is how the war in the heaven is won – with the blood or life of Jesus in us:

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Abel is providing us with this type of obedience to the pattern of Godly salvation:

Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat [Hebrew: cheleb] thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

The Hebrew word for ‘fat’ here is “cheleb”, which can be better understood in this following verse:

Num 18:12 All the best [Hebrew: cheleb] of the oil, and all the best [Hebrew: cheleb] of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.

Abel, while tending his flock, rested in God’s provision as he guided them to the pastures which God already provided (Eph 2:8-10). The fat is Christ’s life and works in us, which will make us able to die to our own firstborn, our flesh, which we offer as a living sacrifice in the service of His body:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Cain saw his own brother Abel as his enemy because God “prepared a table” for Abel in the sight of Cain (Psa 23:1-5).

Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

The natural man is the enemy of the spirit man and will always hate and persecute him (Gal 4:29-30, Gal 5:17). God spoke to Cain about the reason for Him rejecting Cain’s offering. However, Cain, the type of our natural first born fleshly man, could not do well as he clung to his own integrity and his own persuasion (Job 27:5-6). He did not either want to ask Abel for one of his flock. We naturally, like Cain, do not at first understand the spiritual principle of being in a family or a body where we respect the contribution which each one supplies, especially those whom we see as “less honorable” and “uncomely”, whom we by nature despise (Rom 14:2):

Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

Like Cain, we naturally hate and kill our brother Abel, a type of the spirit man as we actually vent our anger toward God when we do that:

Gen 4:8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

The same thought that goes into hatred and resenting others, is the same thought and spirit that is behind the vilest evil and murders (Mat 5:21-24). Can anyone plead innocence?

1Jn 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
1Jn 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

All wicked and deceitful hearts commit murders (Jer 17:9). What we do to and say about others, we do to and say against God because no one can do anything which God has not ordained and written in their books (Psa 139:16). Not one single event in this world (outside and inside) is happening without the holy counsel of God (Eph 1:11, Act 4:25-28, Gen 50:20). God will mercifully bring us to see the absurdities in our self-righteous attitudes when He burns that out of our hearts with His spiritual breath (Eze 36:31-32):

Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Even in the rejection of Cain and his offering, God provided hope and the assurance of salvation for all in the generation of the first Adam:

Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin [Hebrew: hatat/chatat = sin or sin offering] lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Cain and all in the generation of the first Adam will be accepted as all will sacrifice the old man of sin to eventually rule over him as we all will do ‘well’ in the last Adam, Jesus Christ (1Co 15:22). The Lord is indeed “a man of war”, and this Lord, the Lamb of God, shall overcome all those in the first Adam who is making war with Him:

Exo 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

[The writer may be reached at glgroenewald@gmail .com for questions or comments.]
[Detailed studies and emails written relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the www. iswasandwillbe. com website, including:
Where are Tartaroo and the Bottomless Pit?
What is the Spiritual Significance of the Fatted Calf?
Who is the Seed of Satan?
The Meat (Meal) Offering – Part 1
Cain’s Offering was not Accepted

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